Friday, December 28, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
decided to head out to out old stomping ground in Guelph starting with
a trip to UofG's annual Christmas Craft fair (Fair November) and then
dinner at what is probably our favourite restaurant, The Other
Brother. Not like there are any bad tables, but we had a special table
beside the gas fire place, where we enjoyed a parade of taste
delights. We always choose the chefs surprise when we go, six courses
of mystery, each one a pleasure for the eyes, nose and mouth. I think
summing it up was dessert, a white chocolate mocha mousse, a milk
chocolate mousse and dark chocolate curl with a caramel drizzle. If
your mouth isn't watering now, see if this visual helps:
Sunday, September 16, 2012
|Adam Hayes - New York Times|
At the University of Guelph, the calculus word problems were always conspicuously agrarian in example, as the only University in Ontario teaching Agriculture (and don't make that face, if you want to be a good farmer it actually is a both physically and mentally demanding job, more then worthy of a degree granting institution. PS Farmers Feed Cities!) So perhaps it is condescending to phrase your classic calculus problem in terms of optimizing the area of a barn yard to maximize the grazing area for cattle, but while the content of the course is the same the metaphor for teaching it makes it simpler for the students by touching on something that the experientially understand.
So, while I'm leery of giving up math, as I see it is directly related to all the sciences, maybe the key is that we need ensure our students have numeracy, and science literacy first, and then more complex topics later.
My own concern, and this is paternalistic, there are a number of pressures facing students in high school, not the least of which is the need for good grades to enter university and qualify for scholarships. There are also the pressures from our friends to be smart, but not to be a nerd (heaven forfend). Many a student if given the choice between I dare say "easy math" vs the more complex subjects, may choose the route that seems easiest, and by the time that students is recognized for an aptitude for STEM disciplines, they may have already have put those areas of study beyond their own reach by failing to accumulate the prerequisites. Only the most dedicated will make the switch, as additional years of learning can be prohibitively expensive.
Back to what I mentioned about science litaracy though, it is a long time joke around that house that Erin and I are both Mathamaticians, that is clearly not a stretch for a computer scientist, but you say "Erin is a Microbiologist, and Biochemist?" Well as the joke goes, biology is applied chemistry, chemistry is applied physics and physics is applied math, QED.
I'm not going to go about gesticulate wildly or go on any more tirades, like how denying vaccination is child abuse (oh wait there I go again) I just wanted some firm examples about how people fundamental lack of understanding of biology alone leaves them vulnerable to manipulation by self proclaimed experts, as these people lack the tools to critically analyze the information against a frame of reference.
So in summation:
1. Math good, teach math gooder, not less
2. Educate for the sake of education, not as a means to a job (the article talks to that better then I did justice)
3. Teach people to live in our complex world, it isn't going to get simpler, and closing your eyes is not going to work.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
sent on behalf of Geoffrey Peart by the Modrons who plumb the tubes of the interwebosphere..
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
We all have seen the ageist little signs that enshrine the specialness of having in your vehicle an infant, and I've considered, what one internet denizen has already published here, and I've copied for illustration putting a sign like this on my car:
|cropped and presented with out permission, all rights belong to linked creator.|
I find myself, with some caveats agreeing. The caveats, and I think he meant them as well, is that this isn't to lesson or take away from horrific crimes which have occurred with guns, the Montreal and Columbine shootings for example. Those were horrible crimes, which involved fire arms, but were premeditated. This was a crime that was the kind of spontaneous* violence that occurs when people stop considering each other (and likely themselves) to have any value. It is the reckless and thoughtless decision making without a care for consequence or society. It takes an iota of self work and conscience to say "I'm in a crowded place lets take this some where else. Never mind the more sophisticated processing that says "This just isn't worth fighting about" and walking away..
This isn't a cry for gun control** but a plea for some humanism, humanism in the street, in the car, and in life. Recognize the people around you as people, recognize yourself as a person, and realize that the golden rule is as relevant a rule today as it ever has been.
* not with standing the premeditation that occurs when you strap a loaded hand gun on and go out in to the public, you obviously mean for it to be there for some purpose?
** I really don't see why people need the right to own a handgun, I'm sure they are fun to target shoot with, but the hand gun is really a single purpose item, it is design for compact people killing, and target shooting is just practice for the real thing. Long guns are more general purpose, and difficult to conceal. They have clear sporting value, and permit the enjoyment of marksmanship as well. That all being said, I do realize that the majority of handgun crime is done with illegally owned handguns, and that out and out banning of handguns wouldn't necessarily solve the problem. It is too bad ammunition can so easily be manufactured in the home, otherwise Chris Rock's approach to ammunition control might work.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I love having family photos, because the kids are growing so fast it's always amazing to compare this year to those before it. This Mother's Day photo was a bit harder to get than in the past, because we were trying to get two mobile children to stay put! I think it's the second photo that was shot and things just deteriorated from here.
Bryan's shirt says "BIG BRO" and Evie's "Little Sister." In retrospect I'm not sure why I felt like I needed to label them (it's pretty obvious based on size who is older)! Oh well. Just a note for myself for next year that it's probably ok to just dress them in their normal clothes.
I had a great Mother's Day because we got to visit with both sides of the family and the kids were really good. On Saturday we saw Geoff's parents and grandparents, and celebrated Andy's birthday too. On Sunday just after my parents came over, I heard the ice cream truck and we all got treats to eat outside in the back yard. Evie stole my ice cream and ran around for a while with TWO full cones, one of which ended up on her shirt (of course). But the shirt washed out and everyone had a really nice dinner, with both Bryan and Evie behaving like really nice gentle-persons.
I'm hoping for lots of fun this upcoming long weekend, too!
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
warehouse, and the pathos oh the pathos...
But seriously, I asked teasingly of the good folks over at
http://www.geekchichq.com for a stats update on my table, and
obligingly they sent along this image and some kindly teasing of there
own. I really really really can't wait until I get the my first piece
of furniture from them, but it is all in preparation for the next
piece, which is 5 years or a lottery ticket out. Still it is what
I've built the basement for, so you know... If you build it...
sent on behalf of Geoffrey Peart by the Modrons who plumb the tubes of
Monday, April 30, 2012
|The Beholder says Zorch|
The Owlbear says Woot
The Displacer Beast says Mew
|The Gelatinous Cube says Blub|
The Umber Hulk says Klik
Sunday, April 22, 2012
From this point there is a couple plugs left to wire, and none of the plugs are hooked up to breakers yet. That takes care of electrical, short of the light fixtures that don't exist yet.
Next step is floor and trim, we have a bunch of carpet samples, and I think we've settled on one, we are just waiting on a price and setting up the install. After carpet is trim, and I'm having a devil of a time with a contractor, so I'm looking for a second or third quote, because the first guy has fallen off the face off there earth. I'm hoping that ~3 weeks and we done. So yeah!
Maybe when I'm not spending every free moment in the basement, I'll get back to being more social :)
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sunday, March 04, 2012
|As you enter from the foyer|
|What Erin likes to call the Under Kitchen, I hate to quibble, but it is more a kitchenette.|
|Looking back at the entrance, and the pocket door|
|Main room, debris strewn|
|"hallway" to bathroom|
|Art niche, and horrifying tangle of wires which belong to the three-way|
|Looking back at the other half of the main room and the under kitchen|
In the last week I've:
- finished drywalling the entire main room area, ceiling included,
- plumbed the extra water lines,
- hung two out of four doors
- got all the electrical rough-ins finished.
So major task left before I finish this phase (this phase being the rough drywalling):
- hang two more doors
- 3-4 odd cut sheets of drywall in the main area
- electrical in the bathroom
- framing the bathroom ceiling
- drain stack for the under kitchen
- drain stack for the bathroom sink
- drywall the bathroom
After this is all done comes two parts I can't do my self:
- Mudding and taping
Somewhere in there I will paint, and there is a shelf for the art niche I need to build and stain. After that is all done, it is electrical finalization, and inspection, and carpet. All told I'm a lottery ticket and a couple months away from being done. I suspect end of May or at the latest July, if any one wants any birthday suggestions I can point you to my local lighting store where I've picked out my ceiling fixtures. Anyways that is the update, I hacked this out on a touch screen, so I'm sure autocorrect has enhanced my normal poor spelling and grammar to near unreadable heights. I will see what I can do about pictures later.
Friday, March 02, 2012
The kids and I went to the park last night after pickup from daycare. Bryan likes to have something special on each day of the week, and Thursday has been my issue for a while
-- nothing that special about Thursdays! So I decided it can be Family Fitness & Game day. It was a bit cold, but I suppose the weather should be generally improving in the future.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
figuratively. Progress had ground to a near halt since Daryl
November, those who had talked to me know that work had taken over my
waking hours, and also made my waking hours about 25-50% longer. For
the now reduced sleeping hours I have spent on boggy and other
childhood fluid management tasks. So the basement languished in low
This weekend Bryan had a super-fun sleepover at his Myam's (who I
imagine slumped to sleep early last night), which gave Erin and I a
chance to work through some naps. Erin as effective as ever is quite
good with the drywall, her drilling technique is some what unique
though. So we finished all the fiddle bits on the long wall and
started the easy ones on the niche wall. The area in the niche is
slightly more complete the shown here, and the HRV is finally back
online getting some fresh air into the house.
So yeah progress!